Sep. 19, 2017

March April

 

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – There are times when you are thankful for not being in a particular situation. Suffice it to say, If I had been the moderator for the TV leaders debate on Wednesday I would surely have gone “city council” on them. Somebody would have been smacked upside the head with a wet newspaper. That  rude, boorish, goon childishness was embarrassing. I had hoped we would not get the Donald Trump influence in our campaign, but we have. Any anti-bullying lectures in the future will have a lot less impact coming from that source. I tuned it out and watched something else. WWE wrestling at least has some couth to it.

CONGRATULATIONS TO the Nanaimo Gymnastics School which has some great performances to its credit after the Gymnastics B.C. championships in Port Coquitlam. Artistic gymnastics were held in conjunction with the trampoline-and-tumbling provincials at a dual gym venue. “Everyone did excellent,” said coach Megan Conway. “We had many top-10 finishes, many near misses on the podium in fourth place, as well. Quite a few medals … it was quite a lot for a small little club. We’re on the right track and we’re doing really well.” 

Ron Blank of the Daybreak Rotary Club sends a shout out to MLA Michelle Stillwell and the Province for giving Nanaimo Travellers Lodge Society $500,000 to support our Elders Programs of gardening, music and the Eden Philosophy of Care for the new Eden Gardens dementia care facility on Northfield Road. “We are going to populate our facility Friday (April 28) with the 90 elders from Nanaimo Travellers Lodge and the remaining 40 new beds will be filled next month,”says Ron.

THAT’S NOT ALL - That same Rotary Club is having a fund raising document shredding event May 6 at Nanaimo North Town Centre (Rutherford Mall) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For ten bucks you can get a bankers’ box full of paper shredded. The club is working in co-operation with Nanaimo Executive Association and Nanaimo Rotaract to raise money to eradicate polio from the world. Start gathering the paper now. It will be in the parking lot between Sears and Montana Restaurant.

HAVE A NICE DAY – If you continue to do what you’ve always done you will get what you always got.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – More than 300 people showed up last night for a Nanaimo electoral district all-candidates meeting, put on by the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce. Candidates answered questions from a wide range of topics. Leonard Krog, B.C. NDP incumbent, and challengers Paris Gaudet of the B.C. Liberals, Kathleen Harris of the Greens and Bill Walker of the Libertarian Party debated the economy, health care, ferries and other topics for more than an hour.  The debate was moderated by Carrie Chassels, executive director of student affairs at Vancouver Island University.

UP THE ROAD in Parksville, the chamber there hosted the candidates for Parksville-Qualicum, which includes a large part of North Nanaimo. I didn’t see any publicity in Nanaimo for that one other than a last-minute invitation from incumbent MLA Michelle Stilwell.

IT’S DIFFERENT NOW – Being a newspaper reporter is different nowadays. Instead of just popping back to the office and writing a report and downloading photos, I noticed Greg Sakaki of the News Bulletin now does double duty as a videographer, later editing the video and posting it on the News Bulletin website within an hour of the event. Take a look HERE.

THANKS A LOT - Where can you go when you have cell phone trouble? I got a tip yesterday when I had a probem, and that was to head to Blackapple Cellular. The guys there did a heck of a job, great service and the price was right. They're at 4061-B Norwell Drive.

HAVE A NICE DAY – Nothing will bring you greater peace than minding your own business.

Tuesday, April 25

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – This is National Volunteer week, a time to specifically celebrate and thank our volunteers for their significant contributions.

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once every four years, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” ~Marjorie Moore

An example is the 2,000-plus volunteers who support St. John Ambulance activities in BC & the Yukon Territory, which supports the many roles and duties they perform in our communities. Volunteers are the foundation of St. John’s.

St. John Medical First Response volunteers attended 909 public events across BC and the Yukon Territory in 2016, treating 4,052 patients and donating 65,204 hours to their communities

Therapy Dog Handlers created “Moments of Joy” through more than 39,345 hours of visits to 221 facilities – even volunteering for a pilot at the Vancouver International Airport during December’s busiest travel week before Christmas.

In the last year St. John has expanded support of communities when Health Emergency Management BC asked them to get involved with the overdose epidemic hitting our communities. St. John saved 31 lives between Dec. 25 and Feb. 28 -  a new record and milestone marking SJA’s relevance in 2017.

 “Volunteers are the roots of strong communities. Just like roots are essential for trees to bloom, volunteers are essential for communities to bloom. Thanks to our volunteers, our communities grow strong and resilient. Even the tiniest volunteer effort leaves a profound and lasting trace in a community.” ~Jill Wurflinger, Director of Community Services.

HAVE A NICE DAY - The nice thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Pete Betcher

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Congratulations to Nanaimo’s Pete Betcher on being chosen National Vice President of the Navy League Cadets in Canada. That makes him the senior member of the national board of directors, in charge of the proper functioning of the Navy League Cadet Program. As a member of the Executive Committee he will advise the President of Navy League Cadet matters.  He will chair the standing committee of the boad and be in charge of approving the formation, disbandment, naming and name changes of NLC Corps. In conjunction with the Executive Director, he will advise Divisions and Branches as to the correct policies and procedures for Mediation, Conflict Resolution and Crisis management.

HONOURING STAN - Stan Wardill played with the Nanaimo Concert Band for a remarkable 73 years until he died last month. So Sunday in the band’s spring concert friends and family came together to say goodbye to the man considered the father of the troupe. His death last month makes this the first spring concert he’ll have missed, since serving in World War II.

HAVE A NICE DAY - Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavoring and dish washing liquid is made with real lemons?

 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Bill Sims with a sample of the finest

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Nanaimo and Associated Engineering have earned an Award of Merit for the City’s South Fork Water Treatment Plant. The award recognized the city’s efforts in providing safe drinking water and sustainable design. The awards are hosted by the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of British Columbia (ACEC-BC) to recognize its member firms’ achievements. “This project, the largest infrastructure project built in a generation, will serve the community for generations to come, providing them with fresh, clean, safe drinking water,” said Bill Sims, manager of Water Resources.

Patrick Belanger

NEW MARINA MANAGER - Patrick Belanger is the new marina manager for the Nanaimo Port Authority. NPA President & CEO Bernie Dumas said Belanger is well suited for the next phase of the marina’s operations. He said Belanger is a great fit for this important part of our harbour community. He comes from the Victoria Harbour Authority where he worked from 2006 for on-sight supervision at the Fishermen’s Wharf facility including their marina and property operations. Coming from Winnipeg, Patrick moved to to Victoria in 1996 where he assumed responsibilities with the Greater Victoria School District 61 for 10 years.  He and his wife and two children look forward to coming to Nanaimo.

Derek Gillette

TOP NOTCH - Congratulations to Nanaimo’s Derek Gillette who placed second in B.C. and 13th in Canada in the REP Magazine list of top small market real estate agents. RE/MAX International ranked him at #48 World Wide. Derek says he and his office team are humbled proud to continue representing Nanaimo and Vancouver Island to the world.

HAVE A NICE DAY - Husbands are the best people to share secrets with. They will never tell anyone because they aren’t even listening.

Friday, April 21, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – We’re swinging into the provincial election in high gear for the next few weeks. Voters in the Nanaimo electoral district have an opportunity to meet and greet their candidates on Tuesday at the Chamber of Commerce candidates meeting at Beban Park social centre. All four candidates have confirmed their presence for the debate and questions from the public. There’s where you come in, if you attend, starting at 6 p.m. the parties will have information tables where you can get information. You’ll also be able to ask written questions from the floor, but there’s a new twist. You can ask questions in advance by e-mail, so fire away. This allows you more time to form your questions (don’t make speeches, ask questions). Send them to info@nanaimochamber.bc.ca. There will be scrutineers to avoid duplication and combine questions into categories for similarity.

IT’S SO EASY – If you’ve had enough of the rhetoric and misdirection of the television campaigns, you can actually vote already. You can vote anytime between now and May. You can vote at any electoral office and it doesn't have to be in the riding where you live. You need to bring ID and if you're not registered, you can register when you vote. Another option is voting by mail, you can request a package over the phone or form http://www.elections.bc.ca

Electoral offices
• Nanaimo, 80 Chapel St, (250) 716-5941
• Parksville Qualicum, 330 Craig St, Parksville, (250) 951-600
• Nanaimo-North Cowichan 444 Parkhill Terrace, Ladysmith (250) 245-6601

HAVE A NICE DAY - Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions, it only guarantees equality of opportunity.

 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - The great Rotary Club of Nanaimo’s huge used book sale at Nanaimo North Town Centre (formerly Rutherford) from Friday to April 30. Since the sale was started the club has raised some $750,000 which has all been donated to local charities..

PLANNING FOR THE SEASON - Island Roots Market Co-operative is staging its Annual General Meeting Friday April 21, at 7 p.m. Meeting Room #1, Beban Social Centre, 2300 Bowen Road, Nanaimo.

WANT MORE? – If you have not had your fill yet of politics, the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce is holding a Nanaimo riding all candidates debate Tuesday, (April 25), 6 p m at Beban Park Social Centre. BC NDP Leonard Krog, BC Liberal Paris Gaudet, BC Green Party Kathleen Harris and BC Libertarian Party’s Bill Walker have committed to attend. It’s open to all with candidate information booths from 6 until 7 pm when the debate begins.

HAVE A NICE DAY - As long as everything is exactly the way I want it, I’m totally flexible.

 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – For the next few weeks it’s going to be election, election, election, until we’re tired of it, to the point that many people won’t even bother going to the polls. When I want a good analysis of what’s going on I usually turn to the sage advice of my buddy, former Newfoundland Premier Brian Peckford. His experience at that level is invaluable. The way he sees things in this election, it’s going to be tough to choose which of the main parties to support. All parties are addicted to debt. Check it out. http://www.nanaimonet.com/433706218.

DID YOU LOSE THIS? - Not an every-day occurrence, but Nanaimo RCMP are looking for the owner of a safe that was found in some bushes a couple of months ago. When opened it had nothing of great value in it. To day nobody has reported a missing safe, so if it’s yours call Const. Tim Bedard at 250-754-2345 at the cop shop.

SHINING A LIGHT ON THINGS – When is a saving greater than the initial investment? That’s what the city is looking into now with the idea of switching our street lights to LEDs. The savings are supposed to be about $225,000 a year in power and maintenance costs. But so far we’ve seen no estimate on the cost of converting to LEDs. If you want to know more about it, the city is holding an open house on Tuesday (April 25). It’s at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre from 8-10 p.m.

HAVE A NICE DAY - Advice is something you ask for when you already know the answer but wish you didn’t.

 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - The long weekend has been put to bed, the Easter eggs have been gathered and our politicians have shaken a lot more hands. Premier Christy Clark breezed through town as part of a Vancouver Island sweep of ridings. Opposition Leader John Horgan and Clark both spread their messages at ethnic events, dressing up in the fashion of the day. And the promises kept flowing like spring floods. I hope someone starts a tabulation of all the promises, their costs and their impact and when that will kick in. Promising things that will happen five or ten years down the line are empty promises, too much can happen in the meantime.

MISSING MAKAYLA – As so often happens in an information vacuum, people fill it in with their own interpretations or rumours. Mounties in Nanaimo are still searching for missing 16-year-old Makayla Chang. A Quebec newspaper reported last week that Makayla be in the Quebec city. She has been missing since March 17. Nanaimo RCMP say they have no indication where Chang is and have no reason to believe she’s in Quebec.

A FINE LINE – Some social media inhabitants have been wondering about Councillor Gordon Fuller’s pronouncements on his web site and in Vancouver media about goings on at in-camera meetings, and whether he is breaking any laws. First thing, that would be up to legal interpretation. To date what I’ve seen from Gordo has been description of the behaviour of people in those closed meetings. I haven’t seen the release of any information that was on the agenda of those meetings, and that seems to be what’s covered by the Community Charter, not the fisticuffs inside those meetings. The blow-by-blow coverage pretty well matches what I’ve heard, but you have to remember that’s how Fuller saw it, not necessarily the unvarnished truth and nothing but the truth.

HAVE A NICE DAY - Advice is something you ask for when you already know the answer but wish you didn’t.

Monday, April 17, 2017

WHOEVER IS IN CHARGE of Nanaimo Recycling Exchange, how much would a load of gravel cost? The roadway within the site has potholes big enough to hide a tank and the lake fronting the garden waste unloading area could float a battleship. This has been going on for ages. Makes you wonder if that could be part of the reason for people dumping illegally. Git ‘er done.

YOU TELL ‘EM – Did somebody do something really nice that deserves to be recognized? If you’ve got something nice to say, here is the place to do it. A pat on the back doesn’t cost you anything but it sure is valuable to the person who gets it. Nanaimo is loaded with fantastic people who do great things. Tell them. news@nanaimonet.com

Sunday, April 16, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - The Rotary Club of Nanaimo is getting set for another huge used book sale at Nanaimo North Town Centre (most still know it as Rutherford Mall) from April 21 - 30. They hold it twice a year. Since the sale was started the club has raised in the vicinity of 750 grand. That’s a lot of loot going to local charities, schools and places like the Hospital Foundation and Eden Gardens. It’s a lot of work, so hats off to the Rotarians.

UNFRIENDLY IN THE ER - Seriously, NRGH, this needs to be dealt with. This is not the first example we’ve heard of a non-caring experience regarding the front-line staff at the hospital emergency. There’s a reason it is called an “emergency” department. First contact is extremely important. Take a look. https://www.facebook.com/morgandavidcarey/videos/10155718276680931/

PASSCHENDAELE – With the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge fresh on our minds, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 256 is screening the acclaimed movie Passchendaele, staring Paul Gross and Caroline Dhavernas, on Wednesday April 19 at 12 noon. Admission is free, all welcome. A noon lunch will be available.

 OUR CALENDAR – is building nicely. If you’ve got an event coming up, send an e-mail and we’ll post it free. The calendar is also our source for some of the items we post here. news@nanaimonet.com

 HAVE A NICE DAY - We never really grow up -- we only learn how to act in public.

Friday, April 14, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Kicking off this morning with a note from former Mayor Gary Korpan.

To Mayor & Council
One of Nanaimo City's seats on the Nanaimo Regional District is vacant with the resignation of Wendy Pratt.
Having worked with her, I know Councillor Diane Brennan would be the best choice due to her experience, interest, integrity, & capability. 
The citizens of Nanaimo expect and deserve the best representation
possible on the Regional Board.
Clearly, by all objective factors, Councillor Brennan is the best qualified be appointed.
I request that Council appoint Councillor Brennan as soon as possible.
Thank you
Gary Korpan


REST IN PEACE – Sad to learn of the death of former Judge Douglas Greer on April 7 at age 94. No date has been set for memorial services. We’ll have it here when we find out.

VANCOUVER SUN reported in their BC Election 2017 Daily Briefing that as the BC NDP bus rolled up to the hotel to pick up the NDP leader a group of tourists asked "Is this the bus to the casino?"

Nanaimo Walk & Bounce for Autism Saturday, April 22, 2017 at Caledonia Park. Registration begins at 9:30. Walk begins at 10:30 Bouncy Castles, Mascots, Face Painting, Music - a great Family Event www.autismsocietycvi.ca for more information or call 250-716-6110

 

Thursday April 13, 2017 

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Has anyone else noticed that with the resignation of Wendy Pratt, the Nanaimo Regional District will have only one female director? In order of vote total from the last election, Gordon Fuller is in line to become the next city director, but that’s not written in stone. The boys at the city council table could make a really good impression if they appointed the only female councillor, Diane Brennan, to the RDN board. She’s been there before, she even served as vice chair for a term. Appointing Brennan would be a real gentlemen’s move while repairing some bridges.

YOUR CHANCE TO SPEAK UP - The Island Corridor Foundation Board is in the process of updating the Foundation’s business plan, and would like to hear from you on what the Board’s goals and priorities should be in the years ahead. You can review the draft Business Plan for public input, and then complete the online feedback form by April 30. A summary of the responses will be presented to the Board and further drafts will be posted for public input. Don’t ever say that you didn’t get a chance to give your ideas.

FOLLOW THE BOUNCING BALL, it goes up and then comes down and then goes up again. The city’s finance committee, chaired by Coun. Bill Bestwick, instructed staff at their committee meeting to bring the tax increase back down to the promised 1.5 per cent, from the 3.2 per cent staff said it will cost to run the city. Dominic Jones reports on A Better Nanaimo on Facebook. Councillors blamed an $880,000 winter storm cost for the increase. Oh, I see, it wasn’t the $850,000 that evaporated in the arena proposal.

MICHAEL CAMPBELL, of Money Talks, points out that interest rate hikes may be on hold. That is not good news. The financial gurus keep pounding that idea. Just wait until they live off retirement income and starvation interest rates. Hike those rates!

TAKE A LOOK at our new feature – A calendar of things happening in Nanaimo. Send your events information to news@nanaimonet.com. You’ll find all sorts of information, including the Island Roots Market Co-operative staging its Annual General Meeting April 21at 7 p.m. Meeting Room #1, Beban Social Centre, 2300 Bowen Road.

HAVE A NICE DAY - Please and thank you are still magic words

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's lucky day. He got to have a photo taken with Nanaimo's Mike Rispin in Ottawa at an event for fire fighters.

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Let's start with a memo to politicans. Try not to use four-letter words during your campaigns, keeping in mind that FREE is a four-letter word.

SOMETHING NEW – We keep adapting this site to the needs and interest of our viewers. The latest addition is a listing of events in Nanaimo, and it’s totally free. If you’ve got an event coming up, please forward the information to news@nanaimonet.com

PASSCHENDAELE  - The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 256 is screening the acclaimed movie Passchendaele, staring Paul Gross and Caroline Dhavernas, on Wednesday April 19 at 12 noon. Admission is free, all welcome. A noon lunch will be available.

SHRINERS VARIETY SHOW - Hey, if you've got nothing on tap tonight – not everyone watches the Stanley Cup playoffs – The Shriners Variety Show is on tonigt at 7 p.m. at the Port Theatre.  The show will amaze, surprise, and entertain the entire family. This magical extravaganza which includes magic, illusions, juggling acts, comedy, and more, is filled with imagination and showmanship. Buy tickets online at TICKETS

HAVE A NICE DAY - I’m beginning to realize I will never be old enough to know better.

 

 

 

Tuesday, April 11, 2107

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – I should have learned by now that when you utilize sarcasm and/or satire some people take it literally. Yesterday I poked a little fun at the non-tax increase that is a tax increase for the city. In politics that happens very, very often. For example, the way I read yesterday’s B.C. Liberal announcement of a tax break for ferry users, they used the figure $1,000 and that would give you a $250 tax saving. Really? Actually that’s a $250 tax deduction, so that if you are at the 20% tax bracket that would net you a saving of 50 bucks if you spend $1,000 on the ferry. There was a similar lure for bridge tolls for Lower Mainland residents, capping them at $500 per vehicle each year. Meanwhile, the NDP leader says he’ll make all the bridges free, but he’s opposed to building the one planned for Richmond. That’s clever, offer it free but don’t build it. It would make the Port Mann and Golden Ears free. All the goodies from both parties have the usual caveat – “if we’re elected.”

FOR SWINGERS – If you’re into hitting a little white ball with a club and then walking to find it only to hit it again, the Rotary Club of Lantzville has just what you’re looking for. Golf for Dementia Care, in support of Eden Gardens, will be held June 2 at Fairwinds. There are many ways to get involved from a donation, to sponsorship, donating prizes and forming a team and participating in the day. The funds go to Nanaimo Travellers Lodge Society to support Eden Gardens and many worthy local causes. To get involved, call Robert Grose at 250-468-7345 or email him at groser3@gmail.com

FREEDOM DEFENCE CANADA is a relatively-new Vancouver Island-based organization “to defend freedom and traditional values” in Canada. Former Conservative member of Parliament Reed Elley is the chairman of the group. They have a luncheon meeting coming up May 6 in Nanaimo, featuring Stephen Woodworth, a former MP from Ontario. If you’re interested contact Elley at elleyguy@outlook.com or phone him at 250-246-5301.

ECHOS FROM THE PAST - The third annual Nanaimo Record Show is slated for April 20 at the Branch #10 Royal Canadian Legion. There’ll be record dealers from around Vancouver Island with CDs, posters, memorabilia and records. Admission is only two bucks.

HAVE A GREAT DAY - The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket.

April 10, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Many people cannot figure out why we need a tax increase to pay the city's day-to-day bills. Lucky I’m such a financial genius I can explain it all to you. That $5 million for the events centre borrowing cost wasn’t coming from the city’s regular coffers, it wasn’t really there. It was coming from the huge profit that the events centre would make. It was shown as coming from various funds, but Canadian Tire money would have had more legitimate value. Imagine what would have happened if the referendum had passed and then they came around asking for 2.3 per cent? I bet that makes you feel a whole lot better. Oh, and global warming brought us all that unexpected snow.

YOU’RE POPULAR AGAIN - Have you noticed something really different lately? If not yet, you will, starting tomorrow when the election writ is issued. Provincial politicians who have ignored you for four years will actually know you, recognize you and treat you like a long-lost friend. That’s the problem, the long-lost part. (Leonard What’s His Name is never more than a text message away, and he answers e-mail). He'll just be extra friendly.

OLD STUFF - Nanaimo Museum Annual General Meeting ,Tuesday, April 11 – 5 pm – 6 pm. There will be door prizes, refreshments and a free presentation by Interpretation Curator Aimee Greenaway. Members are encouraged to attend - Every member gets a vote! 

HAVE A GREAT DAY - It may be that your main purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

April 8, 2017 - Updated April 9

Wendy Pratt’s resignation from city council is a dark day for Nanaimo, a specific group of people at city hall is responsible for a shameful part of our history.

We have seen very small examples of the abusive behavior by some people at city hall against Wendy Pratt and Councillor Diane Brennan. (And the mayor).

Well-intentioned people can give all the lip service they want about stamping out bullying, but nobody has done anything publicly. Examples have been shown on video clips and people expressing their indignation on social media but that’s where it has ended.

Some of those city councillors are still revered in some quarters, but If we are really sincere about living in a decent and caring community citizens have to call them to account. It’s time to confront their behavior in public, at city council meetings, in public view. Will anyone step up to the plate?

Usually Morning Buzz has a number of items to pique readers interest, but this issue is too important, it needs 100 per cent of the spotlight put on the abusive behavior by some people at city hall.

As the saying goes, if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem.

The following is a sampling of the many comments on social media supporting Wendy following the announcement of her resignation.

‪Bill Manners‪ A sad day in Nanaimo politics. Thank you for bringing a level head to most of our meetings. I am thankful for your service to us and respect your decision.‪

Brian T Fillmore‪ So sorry for all you had to deal with. You will be missed as a voice of reason on council. I completely respect your decision. Blessings. Very sad day for local democracy indeed.

Susan Knight‪ so sorry you have resigned. You were one of the few who would answer my emails and you always spoke fairly and without malice about your fellow councillors. You are a class act and you will be missed. Thank you for your service as a Councillor but most importantly for your commitment and service to our community over many years. Hugs

‪Holly Bradley‪ This is a big loss for the citizens of this town who need skilled leaders like Wendy's voice and vision

‪Matt Henstock‪ No matter what ridiculous witch hunt is about to be unleashed on her (or what may have been prevented by her resigning), I always thought she had what she believed to be the best interests of Nanaimo at heart

Denise Collins Goldsack‪ I'm really going to miss Wendy. She is a lady with integrity. Unfortunately the bullies won on this one. So sad! 

‪Arjan Manhas‪ Indeed. Bullying has no place anywhere

‪Don Bonner‪ Apparently bullying does have a place. An elected position on council is where they seem to end up. This has to stop.

‪Rebecca Chan‪ This is absolutely shameful. What kind of a culture are we cultivating at our city hall that one of two women is pushed out after months of vicious bullying and no repercussions for those who targeted her? I wish Wendy all the best, and I hope that her critics and bullies will back off and let her rest.

‪Sydney Robertson‪ So sad. I cannot imagine working under the kind of stress Wendy Pratt has had to live with. This is our loss. 

‪Sabrina Biserovic‪ How unfortunate for us to lose Wendy Pratt, it's a shame to see the good ones go!

Jason Calvin‪ Can't blame her for resigning. I know after awhile I wouldn't be able to put up with those clowns.

Wanda Thompson‪ Thank you for your service to Nanaimo. I am truly sorry for what you have endured from this council. It was clear for all to see on video that you were treated with disrespect. I was disgusted and appalled by the treatment you received.

Maggie Maz Good on her to excuse herself of this toxic atmosphere. Life is way too short for abuse, especially at the older age. We should gain better values as we age and to realize some never learn those, is probably a good time to move away from it. 

Laura Bonner Wendy Pratt...Im so very sorry that you were pushed so far as to feel that resigning was the only solution. You can bet that many, many citizens stand behind your decision and wish you the very best that you deserve. As for the reasons why...the fact that you put up with so much bullying during this term...is reason enough. 

Pratt's resignation is a loss for Nanaimo

By Colin Haime

The resignation of Wendy Pratt is a loss for Nanaimo as well as for Wendy personally. 

Wendy is not a politician. She is a long time community supporter who wanted nothing but the best for the people of Nanaimo. Wendy is a survivor who was thrust into an personality war and when emotional and mental survival was at stake went with the majority to try to keep sane. But her individual sense of duty to the residents of Nanaimo required her to break from the herd and speak her own mind on items which resulted in attacks. Many people can only stand so much of the stress that comes with the constant adversarial nature. Something has to give. 

Wendy owes nothing to the residents. She stepped up out of duty. I applaud Wendy for her courage and strength during her time on Council and I also applaud her for courage to set it all aside and do what is right for herself, emotionally and physically.

There are those that claim to know what went on. Speaking from experience, those who make such claims but were not there likely have a bias explanation of what went on and typically those that attack individuals are in fact covering up something for something else.  

While there are those on various councils that believe they hold the power because of a majority they are forgetting one important participant in local government. The People!. 

The people should be and are part of the process. I am not talking about special interest groups and those with specific agendas but the average resident. If you want the truth to come out as to the why Wendy resigned it cannot be left to the local government, provincial government, staff or councils. The people need to demand it. Not by letter or appeal to the province but by a presence in the halls where decisions are to be made.

Do not leave it for an election to demand answers. Wendy deserves more than just being a footnote to the 2014-2018 Council.

A Council member once said that because the vote would be 7-2 they could do anything they wanted. They forgot that the people collectively are the power. It is time for the people to step up.

 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Jacqui Kaese
Photo Rachel Stern

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - A tip of the champagne glass for Jacqui Kaese after she was honoured last night at the Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Awards. Jacqui was presented the Excellence in Culture Award for her long-time work in all facets of the television and movie industry, specializing in coaching acting and as a talent agent for shows. She has had a big hand in the development of film on Vancouver Island through her Spotlight Academy. She has also launched the careers of a number of fine young actors. Rachel Stern of The Bulletin, had a great feature on Jacqui in Thursday’s paper. Congratulatons Jacqui!

CLEAN UP YOUR ACT - It’s not just me who is disgusted with the political advertising on television. Both the B.C. Liberals and NDP are sinking to new lows in the personal attacks and accusations of wrongdoing. When I watch television I don’t need half a dozen reminders with Premier Christy Clark’s grinning mug to tell me what to think. It’s the same with the Grits’ commercials. I’ll figure out on my own what I like or don’t like about NDP leader John Horgan. From my rose-tinted glasses, right now the NDP ads are leading in low class, and that’s not where anyone should want to be.

TICKLING THE IVORIES – If you’re a fan of piano music, there’s a couple of opportunities to get your fill. Playing right now at the Chemainus Theatre is 2 Pianos 4 Hands with Bryce Kulak and Max Roll. It runs until May 14. Tickets at 1-800-565-7738. If you want more, Frank Mills is coming to Nanaimo’s Port Theatre on Sunday, May 7 for an afternoon performance at 2 p.m. Tickets available by calling 250-754-8550.

HAVE A GREAT DAY - A British study says older people suffer less stress because they care less about what other people think about them. Who cares?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Nanaimo Marina Association’s claim of support in its quest to take over management of Nanaimo’s harbor is being challenged. In a cleverly-worded submission to Council, the NMA claims “strategic alliances” with organizations on the waterfront. At least two of them say they not only oppose the NMA’s goals but strongly support the Nanaimo Port Authority.

Brian O’Connell, of Island Shipping Limited, which  represents the majority of deep sea-shipping operators, wrote to City Council saying “ISL does not have any standing relationship with the Nanaimo Marina Association nor do we support the desires of the Nanaimo Marina Association. For the record, Island Shipping Limited supports the current governance framework of the Nanaimo Port Authority in accordance with the Canada Marine Act,” O’Connell’s letter states.

 O’Connell says he referred the NMA spokesman to the Chamber of Shipping and adds the NMA presentation then made it appear the COSBC supports the marina group.

Robert Lewis-Manning, president of the Chamber of Shipping, in a letter to council, backs that stance, supporting the NPA.

“This governance framework provides for the utmost accountability and, most importantly, the highest level of safety that has continued to protect the pristine coastal waters in and in the vicinity of Nanaimo Harbour. The Nanaimo Port Authority has been instrumental in managing sustainable development while protecting the environment and the Canada Marine Act provides the Nanaimo Port Authority with the mandate and tools to fulfill this important role”, says Lewis-Manning.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - The unhappiness of Nanaimo marina operators and private pleasure boaters puts the spotlight on the lack of understanding of how Canada’s federal ports system works. Yesterday’s Morning Buzz looked at the actual issue, explaining why things are the way they are. It was not a matter of supporting or advocating on behalf of the Nanaimo Port Authority.

This is not a new problem in our community. I have been involved in the Nanaimo media since 1983 in some form or other, and in all those years the Port Authority, and the Nanaimo Harbour Commission before it, have been somewhat of a mystery in our own community. I served on the Port Authority board of directors (2012-2015) and continue to provide contractual information services. That has given me a solid eductation about how the system works.

Perhaps it’s helpful to spell out in point form how it works and why it works the way it does.

FACT – Canada has 18 federal ports under its jurisdiction. Nanaimo and Port Alberni are the two on Vancouver Island. The other two in B.C. are Vancouver and Prince Rupert.

FACT – The Port of Nanaimo is a mapped geographical designation, under the authority of the federal government. In plain language, the federal government owns it.

FACT – Federal ports are, in fact, corporations owned by the federal government and run by local boards of directors, the majority appointed “at the pleasure of the minister”, the federal minister of Transport, Hon. Marc Garneau.

FACT – The Nanaimo Port Authority is composed of seven members, five of whom are appointed by the minister, representing various entities, including user groups. The other two directors are appointed by the City of Nanaimo and the Province of British Columbia.

FACT – The Port of Nanaimo is a corporation, governed by a board of directors that answers to the federal transport department.

FACT – The federal government, through the port authorities, establishes the business practices and guidelines they operate under.

FACT – Port authorities operate on profit and loss and a bottom line, overseeing transport of goods to and from around the world. They are also responsible for lease operations of other federally-owned property within the geographic port area.

FACT – The Port of Nanaimo is a successful business. In the period between 2010 and 2015 it had the largest increase in shipping tonnage of any port in Canada, a 128-per-cent rise, climbing from 2.3 million metric tonnes to 5.4 million MT. Port Alberni was second best in Canada with a 63-per-cent rise. Prince Rupert was up 15.3 per cent and Vancouver 14.4 per cent.

FACT - The Port is a big business in Nanaimo. A 2014 economic impact study produced by InterVistas shows that the Port of Nanimo supports 2,900 person-years of employment and creates more than $665 million in annual economic output, making it one of the Island’s biggest economic engines.

FACT – That commercial success has resulted in 65 more high-paying jobs in the past year in various roles at the Port.

FACT – Container shipment has been a real boon to some ports, particularly Nanaimo, which is developing a rising loading and unloading business. With Port Vancouver experiencing shipping traffic backups, shippers are finding it financially advantageous to load and unload in Nanaimo and barge the containers to Vancouver for distribution.

FACT - A recent port user and stakeholder satisfaction survey, conducted by a private company, rated the Port of Nanaimo “satisfied to exceptionally satisfied” on every one of the 15 areas probed. The highest rated response was an 85-per-cent average rating of satisfaction on customer’s ability to contact and communicate with NPA.

FACT – Profits from operations of all port authorities must be turned over to the federal treasury, but the system allows for port authorities to employ “social license” to use funds for community benefit. (An example of Nanaimo social investment through port authority funds can be found in my column in the editorial section of this website). http://www.nanaimonet.com/433705963

FACT – Lease rates for water lots, which is the bone of contention now with local marina operators, is based on a formula that has been in place for many years. Recent astronomical marine property value increases have resulted in high increases in these lease rates. That’s not a defense, just a fact. 

(A personal observation – the Port has been assessing property values every five years, thus creating the huge jumps that would not have been so pronounced in shorter time increments). 

FACT – The Port has about 65 rental properties in all, nine in Newcastle Channel, and has to be fair to all of them. It cannot single out some properties for special treatment.

FACT – Changing that policy is a political decision resting with the federal government.

Forming an independent local operators organization is not an option. How seriously will the federal government consider giving up a highly-successful business operation it owns, especially when that comes from a city council under investigation by the RCMP and a special prosecutor?

 

April 4, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - I’ve been watching the morning news from Ottawa and so far Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not called an emergency cabinet meeting following the vote by Nanaimo city to seceded from some federal power.

This council has raised many eyebrows recently, but last night’s motion to “support” the creation of a new harbor authority tops the rest of the silliness they’ve engaged in.

The background is that a number of waterfront tenants of the Nanaimo Port Authority don’t like the rents they pay on the waterfront. They don’t accept that their leases are based on the same philosophy as any other businesses – a professional business value assessment by a major accounting firm. There never was a problem until the value of their businesses shot up like a rocket in recent years, along with all other real estate, ergo their lease rates.

They are trying to pull off a coup with other organizations to take over the waterfront. That involves not only federal but also the provincil jurisdiction. Remember, the higher levels of government "own" this property, they are not about to roll over and play dead.

In spite of the cautions from Chief Financial Officer, now Acting CAO, Victor Mema that such a venture would cost money, experts have to be engaged to to do the research, council voted to go ahead anyway. Mema made that point more than once, but in the end the Fab Five voted to proceed while Mayor Bill McKay and Councillors Ian Thorpe and Diane Brennan opposed making such a firm commitment.

So far I am not aware of any other business group, unhappy with its taxes, trying to form their own management authority to opt out of paying taxes to the city.

The marina operators are unhappy, but I have not heard  from a single one who would sell their property for its assessed value.

Note to Mr. Trudeau, don’t get excited, you can stand down the Canadian Forces torpedo test range in Nanoose Bay.  Some Nanaimo people also envisioned an $80-million arena that didn’t fly with the voters. Others are also talking over their beer mugs about creating a stairway to heaven – a chairlift to the top of Mount Benson.

HAVE A GREAT DAY - The world is a fabulous place full of people just waiting to be offended at something.

Http://www.sja.ca

Monday, April 3, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief, or ignorance.

 CANDID CAMERA – I don’t know how it is today, but in-camera council meetings never used to be video recorded. There was a voice recording, but the only record was a staff member taking minutes, and those were printed on yellow paper so you would be alert that the contents were in-camera. With modern technology, I can just imagine an in-camera meeting where any time discussion gets a little heated, councillors and even staff whip out their Iphones and start aiming. That would be comical if it were not so serious. That could lead to serious confrontations.

THIS IS ‘HAZARDOUS’ - A little more than a year ago I wrote a satirical column comparing the similarities between Nanaimo City Council and the Dukes of Hazard TV show. You remember, short little Boss Hogg and his bunch of bumbling idiots. It’s more realistic than we’d like to believe. A business man complains about being warned by a councillor that criticism of anything council does will result in his business being cut off from any dealings with the city. And a lady who volunteers for the city received the same warning. Now they dare not speak out. Imagine being afraid of your own city.

JOB OPPORTUNITY – I have been posting job openings on this page for a couple of weeks, so why not post my own? If you have sales experience, especially in advertising, send your resume to news@nanaimonet.com.

HAVE A NICE DAY -  Why do people order double cheese burgers, large fries and a “diet” Coke?

Sunday, April 2, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The Rotary Foundation had a great tribute last night to 10 citizens who were honoured for their years of contribution to our community. A number of people commented on what they thought had been an April Fool gag yesterday in announcing the special prosecutor to look into Nanaimo city hall. It took some effort to assure some of them that it is real, IT'S NO JOKE. I have a follow-up comment on the whole picture at http://www.nanaimonet.com/432652926

CALGARY NEEDS YOU - The NHL's Calgary Flames are demanding a new publicly-financed arena and are threatening to leave town if they don't get it. There are a couple of arena promoters hanging around Nanaimo City Council who might be able to help cowtown with running a referendum. Or, we could always bring the NHL franchise to Nanaimo. We've already paid $1 million for all the plans for a new arena. What an opportunity!

BEST WISHES - Nanaimo’s Chief Administrative Officer Tracy Samra has left her position to go on medical leave. It was no surprise as she made it known during a recent council meeting to appoint a deputy CAO that she was planning to take time off. CFO Victor Mema is acting on her behalf at city hall.

NANAIMO HERITAGE DAYS planning is under way for next month’s celebration. This it is one day focused around a parade and a variety of free family activities in the downtown. There will be arts and crafts, food vendors and kids’ rides at Diana Krall Plaza, Maffeo Sutton Park, and Swy-A-Lana Lagoon Park. The parade on Commercial Street starts at 1 p.m., parking free on city-operated lots throughout the downtown area Sunday May 21st, 2017 Don’t use the private lots, you could get a ticket. If you want to get involved, check this out: http://nanaimoheritage.org

MEET DOUG - As we should all be aware by now, there’s a provincial election campaign under way. Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley is opening his second campaign office this afternoon (Sunday) at 1 p.m. at 1277 Island Hwy North. If you have any issues or questions, Doug will be there.

KUDOS TO CHARLES - We had a brief note yesterday about the passing of Charles Torhjelm. Gene Daniel, his former boss at CHUB, dropped some nice words about Charles. “He will be remembered for that "one of a kind" sales representative who went the extra mile for his clients. He even got into costume to promote many events. He tied in various sales packages to community endeavors to help make them successful. Ladysmith celebrations including the Christmas Light Up, Restaurant Association events and South End Nanaimo initiatives, are just a few. His hard work and dedication were among his trademarks as well as the deep voice,” Gene submitted from one of his many road trips.

CANDIDATE SCHOOL - It’s tough to convey to new candidates for city council exactly what they are in for if and when they get elected. Donna Smith, who used to be part of the inner workings of city hall, suggest maybe there needs to be a some form of pre-election candidate school. I kicked that idea around with expert before the last election, but he wasn’t ready to get involved. I’ll look into this further, it might just work this time.

CONGRATULATIONS - Snuneymuxw elder Ellen White was presented her Member of the Order of Canada medal Friday by Lieut.Gov Judith Guichon. Her induction into the Order was announced in December. The Lieut.Gov. made the presentation on behalf of David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, during the ceremony at Dufferin Place on Friday. NEWS BULLETIN

 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – As a journalist, sometimes you get information you can’t confirm officially, so you have to sit on it. I learned of the arrest and release of a city council member, with some conditions, early in March and discussed it with that council member. However, I could not get confirmation of details from the out-of-town RCMP due to the ongoing investigation. Now with confirmation of a special prosecutor being appointed don’t be surprised if serious stuff starts hitting the fan from the ongoing city hall shennanigans. Just watch it.

NO, NOT THE MAYOR – – Since the word got out of a council member being arrested I’ve been getting calls from media outlets, former council members and the public all speculating on which council member was arrested. The speculation is that it was Mayor Bill McKay due to the lawsuit filed against him by the city. The answer is a definitive no, the mayor was not arrested. Damn  never in my long media career did I think that I would write that sentence.

APRIL FOOLS – The concept of an aerial tramway up Mount Benson was an April Fools joke a couple of years ago, but now some people are seriously proposing such an idea. A tourist attraction, bringing in millions, and some are proposing public money mixed with private enterprise. There are a number of responses: first, private/public partnerships usually involve the public putting in the money, private taking out the money. Before everyone gets carried up, up and away, Brian Booth has a reminder that there’s a covenant protecting Mount Benson. See the covenant http://www.nanaimonet.com/433324989

ANSWER THE PHONE – Debbie Scheibel remembers her days working at Nanaimo city hall, complete with April Fool’s pranks. One of the staff members, who shall remain nameless, taped down the buttons on all the phones in one office. Then he began calling everyone, and when they picked up the phone it kept ringing. Got everyone really good. Thanks Debbie.

JOBS BOARD - Mountain Warehouse is opening soon in Woodgrove Mall and they are hiring an entire team for the new store – 15 part-time sales people, two supervisors and one assistant manager. What you need to do is send an email with your resume and they will set up an interview time and location. Send your e-mail to Nanaimo.careers@gmail.com

EARN A HOUSE - Are you looking for an affordable opportunity to buy your own home? Habitat for Humanity has extended the deadline, and is now accepting applications for its next house at 2360 Extension Road, Nanaimo. The house is two bedroom handicap accessible. Visit their website at http://habitatmvi.org for information and the application form.

ONE BIG BOAT - There’s been lots of buzz recently about the behemoth of an auto carrier ship that spent a few days in our harbor, just outside Newcastle Island, waiting to get into Vancouver. It’s known as the Indiana Highway, 196 metres long. Aside from the curiousity it brought, it also contributed to our economy, paying for moorage in our waters while waiting. The Port Authority has four or five of moorages in that area, all bringing in cash while the ships are here.

CHARLES SIGNS OFF – Just heard that Charles Torhjelm has gone to that great big radio station in the sky. The man with the deep voice from the old CHUB days had been ill for quite some time. In his heyday he did on-air work as well as advertising sales for the station. Rest in peace, Charles.

IT'S AMAZING what you can learn about some of your friends based simply on their Facebook cover page. Jack Pagani's April Fool's joke?

 

 

 
Apr. 4, 2017

April 4, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - I’ve been watching the morning news from Ottawa and so far Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not called an emergency cabinet meeting following the vote by Nanaimo city to seceded from some federal power.

This council has raised many eyebrows recently, but last night’s motion to “support” the creation of a new harbor authority tops the rest of the silliness they’ve engaged in.

The background is that a number of waterfront tenants of the Nanaimo Port Authority don’t like the rents they pay on the waterfront. They don’t accept that their leases are based on the same philosophy as any other businesses – a professional business value assessment by a major accounting firm. There never was a problem until the value of their businesses shot up like a rocket in recent years, along with all other real estate, ergo their lease rates.

They are trying to pull off a coup with other organizations to take over the waterfront. That involves not only federal but also the provincil jurisdiction. Remember, the higher levels of government "own" this property, they are not about to roll over and play dead.

In spite of the cautions from Chief Financial Officer, now Acting CAO, Victor Mema that such a venture would cost money, experts have to be engaged to to do the research, council voted to go ahead anyway. Mema made that point more than once, but in the end the Fab Five voted to proceed while Mayor Bill McKay and Councillors Ian Thorpe and Diane Brennan opposed making such a firm commitment.

So far I am not aware of any other business group, unhappy with its taxes, trying to form their own management authority to opt out of paying taxes to the city.

The marina operators are unhappy, but I have not heard  from a single one who would sell their property for its assessed value.

Note to Mr. Trudeau, don’t get excited, you can stand down the Canadian Forces torpedo test range in Nanoose Bay.  Some Nanaimo people also envisioned an $80-million arena that didn’t fly with the voters. Others are also talking over their beer mugs about creating a stairway to heaven – a chairlift to the top of Mount Benson.

HAVE A GREAT DAY - The world is a fabulous place full of people just waiting to be offended at something.

Monday, April 3, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief, or ignorance.

 CANDID CAMERA – I don’t know how it is today, but in-camera council meetings never used to be video recorded. There was a voice recording, but the only record was a staff member taking minutes, and those were printed on yellow paper so you would be alert that the contents were in-camera. With modern technology, I can just imagine an in-camera meeting where any time discussion gets a little heated, councillors and even staff whip out their Iphones and start aiming. That would be comical if it were not so serious. That could lead to serious confrontations.

THIS IS ‘HAZARDOUS’ - A little more than a year ago I wrote a satirical column comparing the similarities between Nanaimo City Council and the Dukes of Hazard TV show. You remember, short little Boss Hogg and his bunch of bumbling idiots. It’s more realistic than we’d like to believe. A business man complains about being warned by a councillor that criticism of anything council does will result in his business being cut off from any dealings with the city. And a lady who volunteers for the city received the same warning. Now they dare not speak out. Imagine being afraid of your own city.

JOB OPPORTUNITY – I have been posting job openings on this page for a couple of weeks, so why not post my own? If you have sales experience, especially in advertising, send your resume to news@nanaimonet.com.

HAVE A NICE DAY -  Why do people order double cheese burgers, large fries and a “diet” Coke?

Sunday, April 2, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The Rotary Foundation had a great tribute last night to 10 citizens who were honoured for their years of contribution to our community. A number of people commented on what they thought had been an April Fool gag yesterday in announcing the special prosecutor to look into Nanaimo city hall. It took some effort to assure some of them that it is real, IT'S NO JOKE. I have a follow-up comment on the whole picture at http://www.nanaimonet.com/432652926

CALGARY NEEDS YOU - The NHL's Calgary Flames are demanding a new publicly-financed arena and are threatening to leave town if they don't get it. There are a couple of arena promoters hanging around Nanaimo City Council who might be able to help cowtown with running a referendum. Or, we could always bring the NHL franchise to Nanaimo. We've already paid $1 million for all the plans for a new arena. What an opportunity!

BEST WISHES - Nanaimo’s Chief Administrative Officer Tracy Samra has left her position to go on medical leave. It was no surprise as she made it known during a recent council meeting to appoint a deputy CAO that she was planning to take time off. CFO Victor Mema is acting on her behalf at city hall.

NANAIMO HERITAGE DAYS planning is under way for next month’s celebration. This it is one day focused around a parade and a variety of free family activities in the downtown. There will be arts and crafts, food vendors and kids’ rides at Diana Krall Plaza, Maffeo Sutton Park, and Swy-A-Lana Lagoon Park. The parade on Commercial Street starts at 1 p.m., parking free on city-operated lots throughout the downtown area Sunday May 21st, 2017 Don’t use the private lots, you could get a ticket. If you want to get involved, check this out:http://nanaimoheritage.org

MEET DOUG - As we should all be aware by now, there’s a provincial election campaign under way. Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley is opening his second campaign office this afternoon (Sunday) at 1 p.m. at 1277 Island Hwy North. If you have any issues or questions, Doug will be there.

KUDOS TO CHARLES - We had a brief note yesterday about the passing of Charles Torhjelm. Gene Daniel, his former boss at CHUB, dropped some nice words about Charles. “He will be remembered for that "one of a kind" sales representative who went the extra mile for his clients. He even got into costume to promote many events. He tied in various sales packages to community endeavors to help make them successful. Ladysmith celebrations including the Christmas Light Up, Restaurant Association events and South End Nanaimo initiatives, are just a few. His hard work and dedication were among his trademarks as well as the deep voice,” Gene submitted from one of his many road trips.

CANDIDATE SCHOOL - It’s tough to convey to new candidates for city council exactly what they are in for if and when they get elected. Donna Smith, who used to be part of the inner workings of city hall, suggest maybe there needs to be a some form of pre-election candidate school. I kicked that idea around with expert before the last election, but he wasn’t ready to get involved. I’ll look into this further, it might just work this time.

CONGRATULATIONS - Snuneymuxw elder Ellen White was presented her Member of the Order of Canada medal Friday by Lieut.Gov Judith Guichon. Her induction into the Order was announced in December. The Lieut.Gov. made the presentation on behalf of David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, during the ceremony at Dufferin Place on Friday. NEWS BULLETIN

 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – As a journalist, sometimes you get information you can’t confirm officially, so you have to sit on it. I learned of the arrest and release of a city council member, with some conditions, early in March and discussed it with that council member. However, I could not get confirmation of details from the out-of-town RCMP due to the ongoing investigation. Now with confirmation of a special prosecutor being appointed don’t be surprised if serious stuff starts hitting the fan from the ongoing city hall shennanigans. Just watch it.

NO, NOT THE MAYOR – – Since the word got out of a council member being arrested I’ve been getting calls from media outlets, former council members and the public all speculating on which council member was arrested. The speculation is that it was Mayor Bill McKay due to the lawsuit filed against him by the city. The answer is a definitive no, the mayor was not arrested. Damn  never in my long media career did I think that I would write that sentence.

APRIL FOOLS – The concept of an aerial tramway up Mount Benson was an April Fools joke a couple of years ago, but now some people are seriously proposing such an idea. A tourist attraction, bringing in millions, and some are proposing public money mixed with private enterprise. There are a number of responses: first, private/public partnerships usually involve the public putting in the money, private taking out the money. Before everyone gets carried up, up and away, Brian Booth has a reminder that there’s a covenant protecting Mount Benson. See the covenanthttp://www.nanaimonet.com/433324989

ANSWER THE PHONE – Debbie Scheibel remembers her days working at Nanaimo city hall, complete with April Fool’s pranks. One of the staff members, who shall remain nameless, taped down the buttons on all the phones in one office. Then he began calling everyone, and when they picked up the phone it kept ringing. Got everyone really good. Thanks Debbie.

JOBS BOARD - Mountain Warehouse is opening soon in Woodgrove Mall and they are hiring an entire team for the new store – 15 part-time sales people, two supervisors and one assistant manager. What you need to do is send an email with your resume and they will set up an interview time and location. Send your e-mail to Nanaimo.careers@gmail.com

EARN A HOUSE - Are you looking for an affordable opportunity to buy your own home? Habitat for Humanity has extended the deadline, and is now accepting applications for its next house at 2360 Extension Road, Nanaimo. The house is two bedroom handicap accessible. Visit their website at http://habitatmvi.org for information and the application form.

ONE BIG BOAT - There’s been lots of buzz recently about the behemoth of an auto carrier ship that spent a few days in our harbor, just outside Newcastle Island, waiting to get into Vancouver. It’s known as the Indiana Highway, 196 metres long. Aside from the curiousity it brought, it also contributed to our economy, paying for moorage in our waters while waiting. The Port Authority has four or five of moorages in that area, all bringing in cash while the ships are here.

CHARLES SIGNS OFF – Just heard that Charles Torhjelm has gone to that great big radio station in the sky. The man with the deep voice from the old CHUB days had been ill for quite some time. In his heyday he did on-air work as well as advertising sales for the station. Rest in peace, Charles.

 

IT'S AMAZING what you can learn about some of your friends based simply on their Facebook cover page. Jack Pagani's April Fool's joke?

Friday, March 31, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – In response to discussions on Facebook, I posted the community contributions by the Nanaimo Port Authority. (see editorial). Kim Smythe, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce added his own comment: "The Port also sponsors many events and activities in this community that did not show up on the list. The Port Authority is a major supporter of the Chamber of Commerce. As a not-for-profit, we rely on community partners to provide resources through volunteer commitments, expertise sharing and financial sponsorships. The NPA is a community leader in this arena and has never let us down."

LOOKING FOR A JOB? – GT Hiring Solutions is holding a WorkBC job fair on Thursday, April 6, at the Conference Centre. No fooling around, bring your resume and be prepared for an interview. Be there when it starts at 1 p.m. and be ready to stay until 4 p.m. For tickets, go tohttps://www.eventbrite.ca/e/2017-workbc-nanaimo-job-fair-tickets-31295432481?aff=efbevent

 
DOWN THE CANAL - Mike Surrell’s Lady Rose Marine Services has bought the former B.C. Ferry MV Kanaka hoping to provide vehicle ferry service up the Alberni Canal. The company’s current vessel, the Frances Barkley, is already the largest tourism operator in Port Alberni bringing upwards of 17,000 visitors and $6 million to the city every year. If Surrell gets approval to use the MV, the impact could be huge. “This initiative will, I think, blow that out of the water,” says Pat Deakin, Port Alberni Economic Development Manager. 
 
REMEMBERING PETER - A celebration of life will be held for Peter Thomas on Sunday, April 2 at First Memorial Funeral Chapel on Bowen Road. Peter died earlier this month in Edmonton where he and his wife Renee had moved last fall. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides would be appreciated. Peter was active in the local Lions Club for 42 years.

GRUNT AND GROAN – If you like your entertainment rough and tumble, pro wrestling is back at Departure Bay Activity Centre Saturday night. Doors open at 6:30 and the bell rings at 7 p.m. Nanaimo’s own B. J. Laredo squares off against Scotty Mac in the main event.

NICE TO BE HOME - Curtis Toneff has been hired as coach and general manager of The Nanaimo Buccaneers, the city’s junior B hockey club. Curtis is a local who resigned as assistant coach of the B.C. Hockey League’s Trail Smoke Eaters to take a full-time job with the Buccaneers. “This is the right choice for me in my coaching career.” he said.

HAVE A NICE DAY - Do you realize that in about 40 years we will have a whole bunch of people running around with saggy tattoos?

 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Which part of Nanaimo has the highest average sale price for homes? North Nanaimo had the greatest real estate sales activity last month with 14 sales at an average of $690,871. The market remains hot with almost 100 homes sold in February, up 16 per cent. SEE STORY HERE 

IT'S TIME TO GET in the mood for politics. The provincial election campaign is under way, and that means all-candidate meetings. The first I’ve heard about is the BC Teachers Federation event with candidates from all three ridings that make up Greater Nanaimo. It’s April 18 at Dover Bay Secondary. https://www.facebook.com/events/282445988845011/?active_tab=about

GET PLUGGED IN - There’s been a lot of talk about tech in Nanaimo recently. And that includes Ladies Learning Code - Central Vancouver Island. They are a group of volunteers promoting tech education in our region. Here’s all the dope about the next upcoming workshop, on Saturday when the focus will be on Wordpress. Check out their website. https://www.facebook.com/events/402678313432164/

IN FOCUS – News about training for careers in the film industry is coming to the North Island today. Michelle Stilwell MLA for Parksville-Qualicum, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation is meeting representatives from North Island College and the Vancouver Island Film sector for an important announcement.

HEY, I NEED TO hear from you. If you have any news tidbits, suggestion or events coming up and you want the word out to the public, this page is getting read. Nothing is better than good gossip. Email to news@nanainonet.com

 

HAVE A NICE DAY – Everyone appreciates your honesty until you are honest with them

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Colliery Dam Park created quite a stir in the past couple of years, and there will be more discussion. There are new additions for the park and an update of the green space. The city has ideas of additions and improvements to the park. To let you have a look and tell them what your think, they have an open house this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the lower lake between the washrooms and old spillway.

HOLD THE PHONE – The call came with a great news tip – “John Ruttan is running for mayor”. Well, not so fast folks, someone discovered John’s website from the last election still on the internet, and they assumed. When you assume you make an ass-u-me. John teased that he’s looking for a campaign manager.

TOP OF THE LADDER - Congratulations to Nanaimo’s Jim Stewart who has been elected Grand Poobah of the B.C. Real Estate Association. (That’s president). Jim is with 460 Realty and has been in the industry for more than 24 years so he knows a thing or two. He previously served as president of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board. Speaking of VIREB, Janice Stromar of Coast Realty is the new president, taking over from Margo Hoffman.

TIME TO PULL THE GOALIE – It’s not over yet for the Nanaimo Clippers, there are stirrings behind the scenes to rescue the local junior hockey team after they were virtually given the bum’s rush in the event centre delerium. Here’s a sound clip with team manager Mike Vandekamp updating the latest. https://soundcloud.com/nanaimoclippers/mar-27-mike-vandekamp

THAT’S DIFFERENT – If you’re looking for a really unique gift for the angler in the family, Peetz Outdoors Limited, which has been making fishing reels, rods and tackle in Victoria for more than 90 years, has partnered with Duncanby Fishing Lodge in Rivers Inlet for a customized artist series of reels. That should be interesting.

NO MORE ALARMS - Almost 12 years since he joined Nanaimo Fire Rescue as assistant chief, Craig Richardson is hanging up his fire helmet. He retires at the end of July but with accumulated holidays he’ll finish up some time in May or June. His parting words, “I’m proud to have been a part of this department . . . and thanks for all your support over the years.” Good luck, Craig.

B.C. LIBERALS AND NDP, take note – Watching Canadian and U.S. politics it’s become evident that politics is the greatest obstacle to good governance. Just run the country, the province or the city. Quit throwing mud at each other, tell us what YOU will do FOR us rather than how wrong the other guys are.

HAVE A NICE DAY – I was told years ago that “one day a week does not a good Christian make”. Sunday is not enough.

 

Http://www.sja.ca

Monday, March 27, 2017

 OUR NANAIMO? – A hint of things to come is a new grassroots non-partisan group on Facebook to help selected candidates in the next Nanaimo city council election. Members are from a cross-section of the city, including retirees, working families, professionals and business owners. The FB page named Our Nanaimo says they will support some candidates – a number have already declared. The FB page asks citizens to join with them, “just as they did for NoVote2017”. Conveniently, If you are already a NoVote email list, you’re already in. Is a civic party being born?

DO SOME GOOD – If you’re looking to do some good, take a look at the Make A Wish Foundation. This being Children’s Wish Month, only a few days left, you can support the Bluewish campaign through Friday (March 31) by visiting www.textbluewish.ca or by texting ‘bluewish’ to 80100 to donate $5, $10 or $20 to the foundation and Pacific Blue Cross will  match it. Where can you beat that? The foundation fulfills wishes of kids diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. Four wishes have been granted in Nanaimo over the last five years.

MOVE OVER MAYOR MOONBEAM – Nanaimo is getting serious about biking. The city has committed close to $850,000 for several cycling route projects. It will start with the Dover Bikeway and Turner (McGirr) Bikeway, sharing dedicated and shared-use lanes. They will connect existing north-south cycling routes to Lantzville and Woodgrove Centre and the Rutherford neighbourhood to the Dover Bikeway and commercial services around the Uplands Drive and Turner Road intersection. Check out Chris Bush’s story in The News Bulletin.

HAPPY TRAVELS – Remember all the fooferaw about Canadians being denied access to the United States since Donald Trump was elected president? Well as so many other things, that was fake news. Refusals of Canadians at U.S. land crossings actually dropped 8.5 per cent between October and the end of February compared with the same period a year earlier. U.S. government figures show the total number of Canadian travellers denied entry also dropped: 6,875 out of almost 13 milliion, a refusal rate of half a per cent. There was also a sharp drop in the number of Canadians denied in the first two months of this year, down by 25 per cent.

HAVE A NICE DAY - Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief, or ignorance.

 

 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Our fair city is familiar with the cost of severing high-level civic employees, but it has been nothing like the lengthy schmozzle into Victoria Police Chief Frank. Former B.C. Solicitor General Kash Heed says it’s going to cost more than a million bucks and may even go into mult-millions. In 2015, the Victoria Police Board conducted a four-month investigation into inappropriate tweets Elsner admitted to sending to the wife of a subordinate. And that’s not even going into any possible severance pay that might result.

SOME TIMES YOU just can’t win. What promises to be a record-breaking cruise ship season for Victoria has brought out the negative side of the gold mine for Victoria business. People living in residential areas complain that emissions from tour buses, and clogged traffic are causing them a pain. Victoria Mayor Lisa Help took matters into her own hands and conducted personal walking tours for ship passengers. I know where those ships would be welcome.

WE NOW HAVE blasphemy regulations in Canada, the much-debated M-103 or anti-Islamophobia bill. By singling out one religion, are we to assume that anti-semitism, hatred of Catholics, Sikhs, Hindus and all other religions is okay since they are not covered by special government protection? Is it any wonder that respect for elected officials is at such an all-time low? 

WICKANINNISH BEACH and surrounding areas have been closed after a wolf attacked a dog owned by a Nanaimo woman on Thursday morning. The dog was on a leash at the time of the attack, the park's resource conservation manager Renee Wissink told Black Press, adding wolves won't ordinarily go after dogs on leash.

I’M OUTA HERE - People who teach lessons tend to think they have the answers ... if only it were true.

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – I’m in a giving mood this morning. I have two tickets to tonight’s Tanya Tucker performance at the Port Theatre. All you have to do is go to the bottom of this page and fill in the comment section with your name and phone number and mark it “tickets”. Cut off is at 12 noon today, so get busy. 
WINNER - Mike Sinstadt

IT’S NOT EVEN April Fools Day, but already that old canard of a sky tram up Mount Benson is being dragged out. The idea is being pitched to see where the public stands on the concept. Jim Johnson is a supporter of improved access atop Mount Benson and he's  launched an online petition to gauge community support. So what does that leave us for an April Fool’s prank?

IS IT JUST ME or is it impossible to get a hot meal at a Nanaimo restaurant? I have gotten to the point of asking in advance if my meal will be hot, but it still comes out luke warm. It happens regularly at high-end restaurants and that has me wondering if that’s intentional. One restaurant   insisted that meat has to “rest” before being served. I’m quite prepared to let it rest after I’ve swallowed it. Steaks should still be sizzling when they arrive at your table. Does anyone else have a problem with this?

I'M OUTA HERE - The great thing about democracy is that even fools can play a prominent role.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Congratulations! The celebrations were loud and the green beer was in abundance, but Nanaimo’s “Irish For a Day” stayed out of serious trouble. Mind you, 21 partiers were taken to the hoosegow to chill out. Three idiots got behind the wheel of their car and were charged with drunk driving. But over all, the celebrants stayed out of serious trouble. 

THAT’S NOT REALLY ODD – Did you see people walking around with mismatched socks yesterday? If you did, then World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) got your attention, as planned. This day signifies the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the chromosome which causes Down syndrome. WDSD is observed in many countries around the world and since 2012 has been declared a global awareness day by the United Nations.

HOMELESSS SQUEEZE - Island Crisis Care Society, which operates Samaritan House emergency women's shelter, is out of room. ISSC is planning a $1.9-million expansion of the 20-bed Nicol Street facility. Executive director Violet Hayes says the number of homeless women continues to grow. Nanaimo News Now has the rest of the story. 

TIME IS RUNNING OUT - The Nanaimo Clippers are still in limbo, without the local ownership that the present owners say they need to keep the club operating in Nanaimo They set a two-week deadline, and that was a week ago, and so far there’s been no word of anyone local stepping forward. It’s a great status symbol to own a sports franchise, and it’s guaranteed you won’t get rich. Team president David LeNeveu says, however, it can be very rewarding in other ways. There are rumours that folks in Campbell River are just itching to buy the Clippers and move them further north. Check out Dan Marshall’s report on Nanaimo News Now.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

FOLLOWING UP OLD NEWS, or just tying up loose ends is one of the things we do in the news business. Stories and events happen, but what is the outcome further down the road? For instance, whatever happened to that citizens petition to have Mayor Bill McKay removed from office over a perceived conflict of interest? That’s still a loose end. To the best of my knowledge, the mayor has never been served.
 The list of names is in my column at  http://www.nanaimonet.com/432652926

NO CONSPIRACY – Monday night’s housekeeping measure at city council was not a nefarious, devious plan for anything. It is standard procedure that someone be authorized to act when the chief administrative officer is not available – vacation, illness, leave, etc. It’s always been done in the past.

THERE IS NO FREE MONEY - The Canada Revenue Agency has issued a warning about a scam that lures victims with a text message that the agency is sending them money via an INTERAC e-transfer. The text suggests that the CRA has sent the e-transfer, and then asks the recipient to click a link “to deposit your income tax return.” Sadly there are thousands and thousands of people who buy into this crap and then cry when they get hurt. All those "abused pet", "I am ugly, nobody loves me" and "like if you love Jesus" posts are ALL scams. If you continue to open them you deserve what you get. Don’t do it!

PROVINCIAL ELECTION time means glad-handing and schmoozing with the voters. That’s what Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog has on tap for the opening of his campaign office on Sunday, 2-4 p.m. at 1588 Boundary Crescent. He’ll have his campaign team on hand. Parksville Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell had her open house last week.

I’M OUTA HERE - A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.

 

 

March 20 GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Remember that string of severance payouts to former city management employees who were forced from their jobs – more than 20? All that money could have made a great down payment on a new arena. (There I go thinking out loud again). But if anyone thought the money drain was finally plugged, the morning buzz that there’s another big one brewing and it could get expensive. Watch it!

SOMETHING NEW – We’ve juggled our pages a little bit to respond to readers’ interests. Don White added considerably to the information and debate on the referendum, so we’ve talked him into posting fairly regularly on Nanaimonet.com. http://www.nanaimonet.com/432760080

IT LOOKS LIKE SOME Lantzville councillors want to be like their big city cousins up the road, ganging up to pile on their mayor. Mayor Colin Haime commented on nanaimonet.com and social media during the arena referendum campaign in Nanaimo. His personal comments did not represent the town but I’d venture to say his knowledge of the Municipal Charter helped a lot of the online discussions. Councillors should devote their attention to the job they were elected to do. (Oh my, now I’m commenting on Lantzville’s issues).

CRIME STOPPERS RECOGNIZED - Nanaimo and District Crime Stoppers recently held an appreciation dinner, thanking two long-time directors, as well as the media partners in Nanaimo that have been big supporters of the program. Supt. Cameron Miller, officer in charge of Nanaimo detachment, presented certificates of appreciation to two retiring members – president Chuck Campbell and secretary Karen Linterman.

SPRING BREAK – Ah yes, a houseful of rambunctious kids. The Nanaimo Museum has two weeks of activities during spring break. Heritage drop-in programs, self-guided tours and the Night at the Museum event are designed for kids aged five to 12. Aimee Greenaway, interpretation curator, says Night at the Museum was busy last spring break. Parents who work during the day need family activities in the evenings. Night at the Museum is on Wednesday (March 22) and March 29 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Activities include night time-themed crafts, and lantern tours through the coal mine in the dark.

AFTER THOUGHT – What’s to stop members from the old Empire Days to step back into the breech and rescue the Victoria Day weekend now that the replacement Heritage Days is stumbling? What’s to stop them? Can they overcome the disrespectful and insulting way they were treated in the past?

READER SURVEY – Would you like to see Empire Days return to Nanaimo? Please go to the bottom on this page and fill in the comment section with a simple “yes” or “no” or you can add a comment.

I’M OUTA HERE - The dictionary defines bigotry as intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself. So don’t disagree with me.

March 17 - GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – A great way to start the day; a note from Brian Peckford about the Vancouver Island University Big Band under the direction of Greg Bush in  concert last night with guest artist Delfeayo Marsalis, of the famous Marsalis family, the brothers and father of New Orleans.

“Delfeayo is a internationally-acclaimed trombonist and just as famous for his composing and arranging.  He conducted classes and lectured at Vancouver Island University for the past two days and he and the band developed the over-two-hour program I heard tonight, played to a packed theatre which included the music of Charlie Parker, Herbie Hancock, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Glen Miller  and arrangements and originals by Delfeayo.  Amazing music”! Thanks for that Brian

NANAIMO ABORIGINAL CENTRE  has a building permit for a new 25-unit affordable housing facility on Bowen Roadd (across from Quarterway Pub). Construction begins this month and will feature 2 and 3 bedroom townhouses for young families, units for elders and for youth transitioning from in-care to independent living.

YA GOTTA EARN IT - A third of British Columbians don’t tip at restaurants where they feel they got bad service, but most are happy to reward food servers with a higher gratuity if performance was exceptional, a new Insights West poll has found. In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, one third of British Columbians consider it acceptable to not leave a tip at a sit-down restaurant if the service was below average and the server was clearly not busy – a proportion that rises to 41per cent among residents aged 55 and over.

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS is running amok. Parks Canada has banned (censorship) a major film production in Banff National Park because well-known Canadian First Nations actor Tom Jackson, is portraying a First Nations gangster. Hey Parks Canada, acting is pretending. He's not really an FN gangster, it's only a movie. So, the feature will be filmed in Beautiful British Columbia. By that, I guess modern-day kids in Banff can only play cowboys now.

DON’T TELL ANYONE - Everybody is just dying to find out what’s happening at the corner of Departure Bay Road and the Island Highway, at the former Shell station and Pizza Hut. If you promise to keep it secret, I’ll let you in on some confidential rumour information. There’s going to be a a min-mall with a Wendy's Restaurant. Now keep it to youself.

HAVE A GREAT DAY - Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority it is time to pause and reflect

Thursday, March 16

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Things keep on happening for our man Terry Beech who has been inducted into the 2017 Young Global Leaders Program. The group’s website states they are involved in developing gene editing technology, building computers that recognize human emotions, leading multi-billion dollar companies to renewable energy, and rebuilding civil society in a war torn nation.

“Each year, we select the most innovative, enterprising and socially-minded men and women under the age of 40 who are pushing boundaries and rethinking the world around them. “This year’s class of Young Global Leaders gives hope that they are ready to tackle the world’s most complex and pressing challenges.

"They are invited to join a community and a five-year leadership journey that we believe will help them break down silos, bridge cultures and use their collective skills to get things done for positive impact across private, public and civil society organizations”.

HAVE A GREAT DAY - Being famous on Facebook is a little bit like being rich in Monopoly.

Thursday, March 15, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – A note from Scott Littlejohn - Nanaimo has lost another outstanding member. Just heard of the passing of Judge Stan Wardill. Avid boater and trumpet player, Stan dedicated much of his life to serving this community. I have fond childhood memories of falling asleep aboard a boat listening to him playing his trumpet to the night sky on the dock, entertaining his many friends, including the likes of Frank Ney.

THE MONEY TRUCK has hit the campaign trail. Nanaimo Airport is undertaking some major work, thanks to cash from the federal and provincial governments. Airport president Mike Hooper says the $7.5 million bonanza will allow doubling the passenger lounge and tripling the security areas of the main terminal. The whole ball of wax is going to cost about $11 mill. Work will start in June and be finished next summer.

VICTORIA AND OTTAWA are kicking in more than $4 million to convert some 300 Upper Lantzville homes from septic fields to sewer lines. Mayor Colin Haime says they had to act quickly or the town could have wound up in a smelly situation. The government cash will soften the blow for homeowners, who will still cover the remaining $2.2 million for the service upgrade in the Winchelsea area.

TOP BUSINESSES - The deadline to nominate Nanaimo businesses for annual awards is approaching. The 17th annual Business Achievement Awards are accepting nominations for Nanaimo businesses in categories ranging from manufacturing and technology to retail, restaurants, youth initiatives, community service organizations and more. The deadline to nominate is March 24.

DIGGING IN - Barsby Bulldogs football players are doing some groundwork before they head into next season. As in the past, the team is selling manure for garden use on Friday and Saturday this week. All the proceeds go to pay for uniforms and other equipment. All proceeds from the sale go to uniforms and protective equipment. Bulldogs’ coach Rob Stevenson says the team is getting a delivery of two-year-old cow manure and then the players will fill 40-pound bags.

THANKS FOR WAITING – that’s standard procedure for medical procedures in B.C., but do you know what has the longest waiting list? Right now it’s cataract surgery, with more than 22,000 people in the province in the lineup. Other elective surgeries with long backlogs include knee replacement (7,454), abdominal hernia repair (4,482), hip replacement (3,519), and uterine surgery (2,678).

I’M OUTA HERE - Sometimes you just have to turn around, give a little smile, throw the match and burn that bridge.

March 14

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - At Ladysmith council meetings when somebody says “Duck”, they are referring to Coun. Duck Patterson. At Nanaimo council meetings that can have a whole different meaning. Watch it.

THREE CHEERS – speaking of Ladysmith, congratulations to the citizen design team for an amazing three-day charrette on the future of their waterfront. A tip of the community hat to the many citizens who came by Sunday afternoon to see the emerging ideas created this past weekend. Check it our here: http://ow.ly/VGBi309RRi7

YEAH TURNOUT - The voter turnout for the referendum on Saturday was good news in the eyes of the Chamber of Commerce. President and CEO Kim Smythe said “It speaks for the passion of residents faced with making such a large decision that would impact the community for generations.” 
http://www.nanaimonet.com/433324989

OKAY ALL YOU forgetful types who planned to get roses from the Vancouver Island Symphony of Roses, you can’t get out of it. There’s still time to order roses for this annual fundraiser. A dozen boxed roses for $33, delivered by volunteers next week Wednesday (Mar. 22). You have to order by Friday, March 17 though. Turley’s Florists have been doing this for 18 years. All you have to do to order and have the roses delivered is call them at 250-754-6344. You can’t say I didn’t remind you.

DOING IT YOURSELF - McGirr Elementary School’s playground has received an infusion of $30,000 from the Rick Hansen Foundation Access4All program. The parent advisory council is raising funds for the target costs of $104,000 for upgrading the playground to wheelchair accessible standards. Shows what hard work and elbow grease can accomplish.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY – It’s Tara Keeping’s big day today. Happy birthday.

JUST WONDERING - If it’s neither here or there, then where is it?

 

March 13, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO, you won’t have to water the lawn today, or any time for the next week or so. The weatherman has no more snow on the horizon.

THANK YOU – I was going to send personal thank you notes, but when the millions and millions wished me a happy birthday I realized that was beyond possibility. So, thank you to everyone who remembered from virtually all parts of the world, as far away as China and Japan in this huge social media world.

CONNECTING – Good news, the city’s web site is being updated this spring. Perhaps that will include the email system which doesn’t allow all councillors to use it to the fullest extent. No wonder some of us are not getting replies when we send messages or ask questions of our elected or appointed representatives. 

COME ON DOWN – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Greens wants to get working women off their high heels. He says some employers require that their staff, mostly in the food and drink services areas, wear heels at work. That shouldn’t even be a question for the Legislature, that should be right out of the question. That’s a work safety issue which should be ruled on by WorkSafe BC.

ROTARY NEEDS YOU  - If you've ever thought you might be able to help while enjoying excellent company, check out Rotary. There are five clubs in Nanimo and they could all use a few more members. They meet breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you're interested, call me and I'll send you in the right direction. news@nanaimonet.com

TONIGHT - St. John Ambulance volunteer information night, at2250 Labieux Road. Drop in and check out their volunteer information night. Learn about their services, find out what's required to be an SJA volunteer

If you have any events for our notice board, please send them to news@nanaimonet.com

I’M OUTA HERE – With the provincial election campaign under way, be careful when you follow the masses – sometimes the M is silent.

 

Peter Thomas

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – We have lost another great community booster. Peter Thomas, an icon of community service in Nanaimo, died on Tuesday in Edmonton where he and his wife, Renee, had moved last fall to be closer to their family.

Peter was the face of the Lions Club in Nanaimo, a club he founded and chartered in 1984. He was a member of Lions International for 42 years. Renee was involved in Lions with Peter for all those years. 

In a story in the News Bulletin last August, Peter said he joined Lions because there’s a need to help in Nanaimo. While the Hub City Lions help children with disabilities, the blind and visually impaired and provide support to Camp Shawnigan Lions Easter Seal Camp for children with disabilities, the project he is most proud of is the Lions sports pavilion at Beban Park’s Gyro Youth Sports Fields.

Peter was a regular at the News Bulletin office as he pursued publicity for his various causes. He was awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his service to the community.

I’M OUTA HERE – I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.

MONDAY, MARCH 13
 7 p.m. St. John Ambulance volunteer information night, at 2250 Labieux Road. Drop in and check out their volunteer information night. Learn about their services, find out what's required to be an SJA volunteer 

If you have any events for our notice board, please send them to news@nanaimonet.com

Friday, March 10

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO, you’ve all been busy beavers following the events centre referendum. Since we launched the events centre pages on this site, more than 18,000 views had been recorded on that topic alone, as of last night, and the ticker was still clicking. That’s the reason we are here, to keep our community informed.

ON THAT NOTE, a heads up from Coun. Bill Bestwick about a huge success story from Penticton and its new casino that’s opening in that city next month. This is a Nanaimo site, but what the heck, you can never have too much good news. See more here Western News 

STINKY IDEA - A city councillor in West Vancouver thinks cities should collect doggy doo, put the DNA into a database, and hunt down owners who don’t clean up after their dogs. Mary-Anne Booth suggested the idea in a council meeting earlier this week that left-behind dog poop could be tested and the culprit owner fined. Is it any wonder some people shake their heads in disbelief at some of their own elected officials.

ON TRACK - Some folks on social media are getting quite excited about the idea of commuter rail service for Victoria. Not so fast, the provincial government agreed to look into it. Remember, we’re in an election campaign, and a feasibility study is somewhat like a promise you don’t really have to keep. While the government was making that announcement, NDP leader John Horgan was in Nanaimo saying “me too” on rail service.

MISSING A MOTOR? Nanaimo cops have a brand new expensive outboard motor in their possession after it was found in December in some bushes off Doumont Road. It didn’t walk there by itself. If its yours and you can prove it, call Const. Gary O’Brien at 754-2345.

I’M OUTA HERE - Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

FRIDAY, MARCH 10
7 p.m. Harbour City Jazz Festival is an annual celebration of Nanaimo’s talented jazz students from John Barsby Community, Cedar Community, and Wellington Secondary Schools. Port Theatre.

SATURDAY, MARCH 11
$80-million borrowing referendum for a Nanaimo Events Centre, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Check our Arena page for polling locations and information

MONDAY, MARCH 13
St. John Ambulance volunteer information night, at2250 Labieux Road. Drop in and check out their volunteer information night. Learn about their services, find out what's required to be an SJA volunteer

If you have any events for our notice board, please send them to news@nanaimonet.com

 

Thursday, March 9

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO, Happy birthday Gordon Halkett, today is the day. Tamara Hensbee is also celebrating her next year off the calendar.

WHAT’S GOING HERE? There’s a vacant lot at the corner of Island Highway and Departure Bay Road where Pizza Hut and Shell gas station used to be. In many cases where gas stations are abandoned they turn into fenced vacant lots because of the high cost of remediation, due to the contamination from the oil over the years. Very large dredging required in many cases. It will be interesting to keep an eye on this one.

IF THERE IS A very strong no vote on Saturday, should some councillors consider resigning?. The referendum pre-expenses have been estimated at $1 million . . . wasted tax dollars. Or if there's a very strong yes vote, should we all rush to buy season tickets to our new hockey team?

LEARN ABOUT volunteering with St John Ambulance in Nanaimo on Monday, March 13, 2250 Labieux Road, Drop in and check out their volunteer information night. Learn about their services, find out what's required to be an SJA volunteer

I’M OUTA HERE - At my age I speak my mind, it hurts to bite my tongue all the time

THURSDAY MARCH 9,
12 – 7pm Blood Donor Clinic, Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre, 6234 Spartan Road
FRIDAY, MARCH 10
7:00 p.m. Harbour City Jazz Festival is an annual celebration of Nanaimo’s talented jazz students from John Barsby Community, Cedar Community, and Wellington Secondary Schools. Port Theatre.

If you have any events for our notice board, please send them to news@nanaimonet.com

 

Wednesday, March 8

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO. Almost lost in all the referendum chatter yesterday was the news that the Nanaimo Port Authority, Snuneymuxw and the city are going back to the table with Island Ferries Services to talk leases. Even talking is great news for people who have been waiting for this service for years now. Let’s hope something happens not too far down the line.

THE WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE yesterday committed to putting a franchise in Nanaimo this fall, if citizens approved the referendum to build a new arena. The league said a team would begin play at Frank Crane Arena until a new rink is ready.

ADVANCE VOTING - today is the final advance poll for the $80-million events centre referendum – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Conference Centre. The full vote is Saturday, same hours with a lot of polling locations to choose from. Check them out at http://www.nanaimonet.com/432708469

I’M OUTA HERE - Society has become so artificial that the truth actually bothers some people.


WHAT’S UP

ALL DAY TODAY
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Advance poll for the $80-million borrowing referendum for an events Centre. Vancouver Island Conference Centre.
12 – 7pm Blood Donor Clinic, Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre, 6234 Spartan Road
THURSDAY, MARCH 9
12 – 7pm Blood Donor Clinic, Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre, 6234 Spartan Road
FRIDAY, MARCH 10
7:00 p.m. Harbour City Jazz Festival is an annual celebration of Nanaimo’s talented jazz students from John Barsby Community, Cedar Community, and Wellington Secondary Schools. Port Theatre.

If you have any events for our notice board, please send them to news@nanaimonet.com

 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO, you hear some profound things while you’re having coffee with friends. One commented yesterday that he wants to draft former Councillor Loyd Sherry to run for city council again. “He knows how to say no”.

HATS OFF to Lantzville Mayor Colin Haime who has followed up on the Conference Centre management contract award to Spectra. This company has a lot of expertise, including running venues for Western Hockey League teams. And they also manage the Penticton Conference Centre. Their website shows the properties they manage. CLICK HERE

DON’T FORGET tomorrow is the final advance poll for the $80-million referendum – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Conference Centre. The full vote is Saturday, same hours with a lot of polling locations to choose from. Check them out at http://www.nanaimonet.com/432708469

HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Marilyn Sullivan, our premiere special events organizer.

I’M OUTA HERE - I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford; then I’ll move in with them.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Advance poll for the $80-million borrowing referendum for an events Centre. Vancouver Island Conference Centre.
12 – 7pm Blood Donor Clinic, Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre, 6234 Spartan Road
THURSDAY, MARCH 9
12 – 7pm Blood Donor Clinic, Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre, 6234 Spartan Road
FRIDAY, MARCH 10
7:00 p.m. Harbour City Jazz Festival is an annual celebration of Nanaimo’s talented jazz students from John Barsby Community, Cedar Community, and Wellington Secondary Schools. Port Theatre.

If you have any events for our notice board, please send them to news@nanaimonet.com

Monday, March 6

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO, just wondering, if I threw a snowball at the next person who mentions global warming, would any court convict me?

POLITICS IS the greatest obstacle to good government. We’re about to get a gigantic dose of that over the next two months in B.C. as our parties try to out-smear each other.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE members will get a survey form by e-mail today, asking for their view on the proposed Nanaimo events centre. The forms have to be in by tonight, and we’ll have the results some time Tuesday. This should prove interesting, and could well give us a fairly accurate reading of how the referendum will turn out on Saturday. Check here tomorrow for the result.

I'M OUTA HERE - Fighting over race is like fighting over Smarties. They’re all made of the same thing and thinking they are not makes you look really stupid.

NOTICE BOARD

MONDAY MARCH 6
5 p.m. Special City Council Meeting, Doug Rispin Room, Shaw Auditorium

7 p.m. Regular Council Meeting, Shaw Auditorium

TUESDAY MARCH 7
7: 30 p.m Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt play acoustic solo sets and together at the Port Theatre. SOLD OUT

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Advance poll for the $80-million borrowing referendum for an events Centre. Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

12 – 7pm Blood Donor Clinic, Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre, 6234 Spartan Road

THURSDAY, MARCH 9
12 – 7 pm Blood Donor Clinic, Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre, 6234 Spartan Road

FRIDAY, MARCH 10
7:00 p.m. Harbour City Jazz Festival is an annual celebration of Nanaimo’s talented jazz students from John Barsby Community, Cedar Community, and Wellington Secondary Schools. Port Theatre.

If you have any events for our notice board, please send them to news@nanaimonet.com

Sunday, March 5, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Weather is usually the main topic of conversation, but more so this winter. If you’ve been feeling this is one of the most miserable winters in your life, you are absolutely right. Environment Canada confirms this has been one of the coldest winters in Nanaimo in the last 120 years. The average temperature for December, January and February was 1.6 C, the seventh coldest since the government began record-keeping in 1893. That’s two degrees colder than normal at Nanaimo Airport. There was 115 cm of snowfall at the airport this winter, compared to the average of 51 cm

THE ISLAND ROOTS MARKET Co-op plans to construct a building to house a Year Round Community Market at Beban Park by the fall of 2018. The new building will replace the two summer farmers markets that operate at Beban and the winter market at Pleasant Valley Hall. Beginning this summer, markets will operate on Wednesday afternoons and on one day each weekend. Island Roots needs your help to determine when the weekend market should be open, Saturday or Sunday. http://tinyurl.com/zbrh6eq

 I’M OUTA HERE - One thing people have in common is that they are all different

NOTICE BOARD

SUNDAY MARCH 5

1 p.m. - Celebration of Life for Bob Fenty, Coast Bastion Inn

1 p.m.  Old City Association information meeting to discuss the Malaspina Gardens property at 388 Machleary St. at St. Peter's Catholic Church at 301 Fitzwilliam St.

MONDAY MARCH 6

5 p.m. Special City Council Meeting, Doug Rispin Room, Shaw Auditorium

7 p.m. Regular Council Meeting, Shaw Auditorium

TUESDAY MARCH 7

7: 30 p.m Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt play acoustic solo sets and together at the Port Theatre. 
SOLD OUT

FRIDAY, MARCH 10

7:00 p.m. Harbour City Jazz Festival is an annual celebration of Nanaimo’s talented jazz students from John Barsby Community, Cedar Community, and Wellington Secondary Schools. Port Theatre.

Send your Notice Board events to news@nanaimonet.com We'll post them at no charge.

 

Saturday, March 4

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO, put on a happy face. Most of the daffodils are poking their heads through the soil and crocusses are in bloom. We'll enjoy a balmy 5 or 6 degrees today, and if we're lucky tonight's forecast for snow may be wrong. Following the social media chatter, I notice a lot of our local snowbirds are heading north after weeks and months in the southern sun in search of climate change. They’re in for a bit of a shock when they hit the reality we’re enjoying here.

It's one week from today that we get to decide the $80-million-dollar question – do we want to go into debt to build a new arena. Overheard on coffee row the other day, an older gentleman said, " I'm not in favour of that, I'm not even going to vote." That's the most dangerous part of this question, when people don't vote they are actually helping the side they are opposed to. There are voting locations close to home for everyone. You can find the MAP with all the locations right here. Last-minute note: City staff will be at Woodgrove Mall today 12-4 if you still need more information.

There’s a lot of garbage in the Nanaimo Regional District’s plans for this year. Secondary wastewater treatment upgrades at the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre are among capital projects this year. Initial work will consist of site clearing and start of construction – roughly $45 million. At the regional landfill in Cedar, $2.5 million has been budgeted for items including the scale house and capital works associated with ongoing operation of the landfill.

Great to see Clay Tree Society is finally getting its own home. They’ve got a deal in principle to buy the place they’ve been for 50 years and make it their own. The tab from the school district is $750,000. MORE HERE

I’ve been preaching the value of AEDs (defibrilators) for ages, and we had proof again this week that they save lives. 83-year-old Jim Corder went into cardiac arrest during a senior leisure skate at Frank Crane Arena. That’s when bystanders and staff came to the rescue and restarted Corder’s heart. There isn’t a place in Nanaimo where people gather, including businesses, that should not have an AED and trained staff to use it. St. John Ambulance can get you fixed up in a hurry. Call them.

Speaking of emergencies, you have a fire alarm in your house, right? Don't let that give you a false sense of security, a record of fire department inspections shows that only about one quarter of alarms actually work. Check yours out and also make sure your fire extinguisher is up to par.

Don't be shy, leave your comments and suggestions at the bottom of this page.

I'M OUTA HERE - A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.

 

March 3, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - It's tough to put on a cheerful front when the weather forecast is for more snow on Saturday. Enough is enough.

EVENTS CENTRE INFO - More than 200 people came out to a citizen forum in Beban Park last night, looking for answers about the City’s proposal to build a downtown events centre. Jordan Bateman, the BC Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, compared the successful, public-private partnership that built the Langley Event Centre with the unsuccessful 100% publicly-funded Abbotsford Event Centre. From here onward, the most important thing for everyone in the community is to vote, regardless of where you stand on the issue. Have your say, it's your right 

BRONWYN PREECE returns to Nanaimo for another afternoon of Action Theater® on Sunday (March 5) at the Rotary Fieldhouse 3:30 to 6:30. This will be an extended 3-hour session rather than the usual 2 hours.  Action Theater® is an improvisational physical theater training and performance method created by Ruth Zaporah  for Actors, Dancers, Vocalists, Public Speakers, Musicians, Enthusiasts and The Curious. Learn how to embody your actions and voice. 17+ and requires maturity. All skill levels welcome. $35 for tickets. Crimson Coast

I'M OUTA HERE - A tip for social media users – Just because you are offended doesn’t mean that you are right

March 2, 2017

HATS OFF – to John Gardiner on capturing the People's Choice Award during the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival at Malaspina Theatre. John’s comedic flick Reproductive Cycles took home the award. He said winning the top prize was an unexpected and thanked his team. The festival early last month attracted nearly 600 attendees. The festival featured short films from around the world including Canada, the United States, Spain, China, Ireland and elsewhere. There was a record-breaking number of submissions this year from 14 countries.

IN THE SPIRIT – Sometimes it’s the things you don’t see up front that make the biggest impression like when Hometown Hockey hosts met representatives from Snuneymuxw First Nation. The show’s co-host Tara Slone was moved to tears when presented with a totem pole, carved by Noel Brown. Earlier, on Newcastle Island, Slone talked with Brown about the process and slicing a sliver of wood from the pole, which Brown said now contained a piece of her spirit because of her contribution, albeit small, to the carving. "Nanaimo, you've filled our hearts," said Slone.

COUNT DOWN – I’m watching the weather forecasts daily now, waiting for the exact day we can declare Global Warming Day. It’s coming. When the temperature hits or passes 10 degrees we can celebrate GWD.

DON’T BE A VICTIM - Canadians lost more than $90 million to online and phone scams in 2016, reports the Better Business Bureau. The scam that hit people the hardest was online dating, swindling $17 million out of the hands of Canadians last year. A fraudster uses a fake identity in an online dating profile to earn a potential victim's trust and eventually for money or even steals things. Those are the reported ones, many victims are too embarrassed to admit they have been victimized.

I’M OUTA HERE – While we often hear government is too big to fail we should also recognize government is too big to succeed

 

March 1, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. That may well have been the strategy of the boosters of the events centre referendum when they pulled out of a scheduled debate, siting fears for their safety. To date we have not had any reports from the RCMP about any alleged threats on anyone’s life. As it turned out, more than 300 people showed up for the Chamber of Commerce event and the question got a good discussion. Three audience volunteers represented the Yes side of the debate. Even though they were ill-prepared, some assertions raising eyebrows, they gave a good accounting of the topic at hand. It turned out to be a good night and nobody got hurt.

EARLY VOTING - If you are unable to vote in the referendum March 11, there are two advance polls. March 1 (today) and Wednesday, March 8, 8:00 am and 8:00 pm at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. 

TANYA AND GARY – Canadian Country Music Hall of Famer, Gabriola’s Gary Fjellgaard, will be a special guest of Tanya Tucker on March 24 at the Port Theatre. TANYA has been inspirational to many female artists topping the charts today   Her debut single “Delta Dawn”, recorded when she was just 13, earned her a Grammy Nomination. She has paved a path through country music and beyond, achieving incredible longevity. From the signature classics “Delta Dawn” and “What’s Your Mama’s Name” Tanya has proven to be timeless. She has amassed 23 Top 40 Albums, 56 Top 40 Singles, 10 #1 Billboard Hits, 2 CMA Awards, 2 ACM Awards and 3 CMT Awards. Tickets are $65 (all-inclusive) available at the Theatre Box Office.

I’M OUTA HERE - I’m totally flexible as long as everything is exactly the way I want it